Jul 06

Upskilling employees for the world of work where a Digital Academy forms a competitive advantage

By Rochelle Freyer: Head of Talent Investment & Leadership, Capricorn Group

The World Economic Forum ranked Active Learning and Learning Strategies, Technology use, Monitoring, Control and Resilience, Stress tolerance, and Flexibility amongst the top 10 skills of 2025. This is fitting given the fact that the world of work is integrating and embracing technology and digital transformation in the form of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Automation, Robotics and more. Ongoing transformations in the world at large require that organisations not only reconsider how work is being performed (by whom and from where) but also how we equip our employees with the necessary tools and skills to navigate this ambiguity.

Some organisations are further along the journey than others in aligning their talent agenda and priorities to meet the needs of the current and rapidly changing world of work. Regardless of the extent of the talent conversation, the last few years have zoomed in on Leadership’s responsibility to provide their employees with the resources needed to up and reskill themselves as they aim to remain relevant and competitive in their roles, careers, and operating industries.

We can agree that an organisation’s most valuable resource is its people. Sir Richard Branson rightfully said, “Your employees are your company’s real competitive advantage”. If this is the foundational philosophy, then we need to agree on and prioritise the fact that upskilling employees and equipping them with insights on globally topical and relevant influencers in the world of work is business critical and would ensure that employees have the skills and knowledge required to succeed in today’s world and in so doing, enable success in the organisational objectives. This sets the employee up for individual success and raises the bar on organisational performance and talent differentiators. Operating from this viewpoint implies that we look beyond what was being offered from a traditional learning and development perspective and craft a solution that offers employees the necessary upskilling in ways that are flexible, easily accessible, and relevant to individual needs, as each employee’s learning journey ultimately looks different. One of the answers to this need is a Digital Academy. Digital Academies offer online learning content on an array of digital topics in a way that is flexible and easily accessible to employees.

One of the biggest benefits of a Digital Academy, as opposed to more traditional information-sharing platforms, is that it offers employees a self-paced, online learning solution that can typically be accessed from any location at the employee’s convenience. A Digital Academy is an online learning solution offering learning content on an array of selected topics.

It can be hosted on an electronic platform of your choice and allows the learner to access the learning content at times and from locations that are convenient, resulting in a customised and personalised learning experience. Finally, the learner can select and prioritise content and modules under a specific topic they see as relevant to their development needs. Previous challenges of time, resources, and irrelevant sub-sets of learning content are no longer barriers to upskilling.

As responsible employers and leaders, it is critical that we embrace the call on Leadership to provide employees with opportunities to self-reflect, identify blind spots, and offer bespoke solutions to bridge any gaps in knowledge, skills, and competencies, and to support employees as they continue to evolve and become better versions of themselves.

Rochelle Freyer is the Head of Talent Investment & Leadership Capricorn Group. She has over 15yrs experience in the Human Capital space. She has spent the last seven years in the Financial Services Industry and has expressed her passion for people in the work she does towards talent acquisition, optimisation, and development. She likes camping or exploring the general outdoors with her husband and three boys in her spare time.